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Ohio Teachers Union Wants Answers About State School Board Member's D.C. Trip

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
Shafkat Anowar
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

Ohio’s largest teachers' union says a sitting member of the state board of education has some explaining to do for her part in last week’s trip to the nation’s capitol.

Ohio Board of Education member Kirsten Hill was listed on social media as the organizer for a “Stop the Steal” bus trip from Northeast Ohio to Washington D.C. on January 6, the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro says Hill owes teachers and Ohioans an explanation.

"She needs to, in the strongest possible words, denounce what happened and really explain, how does someone who is in that kind of leadership role publicly call for the overturning of the election?" DiMauro says

At least five people, including two police officers, died as a result of a violent pro-Trump mob breaking into the building, terrorizing lawmakers and staff inside, and damaging property.

In a statement, Hill said it was her First Amendment right to travel to D.C. to express concerns about voter fraud – of which there is no evidence. Hill said her involvement consisted of listening to President Trump's speech, marching to the Capitol, waving a flag and saying a prayer. 

"Unfortunately, there was a small minority of individuals who appear to have broken the law by vandalizing the Capitol Building and personal property," Hill wrote. "I condemn any acts of violence or damage that may have been done by any individuals or groups regardless of their motives or deeply held convictions."

Last week, a member of the Ohio Arts Council was pushed to resign after expressing support for the insurrection on Facebook, and calling Vice President-elect Kamala Harris an offensive slur.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.